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The Piracy of Pirates

December 16th, 2009 · No Comments

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It started a few years ago when the Pirates of the Caribbean became a box office success. Then there were the sequels, with Captain Jack becoming a favorite new character. Don’t forget the periodic news stories about Somali pirates kidnapping people over the past several months. Later Michael Crichton’s last book, the posthumously published Pirate Latitudes, is all about those sea-loving rapscallions. But there is a faction of pirates in Sweden that have been making waves the past few years as well.
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Category: Licensing and Access

The Quest for IT

October 30th, 2009 · No Comments

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Oh, I get it. “IT” – of course, the acronym for Information Technology. The name of the computer departments where I used to work. The place where all the “computer guys,” as I fondly referred to them, were busy working their techie magic.

However, when it comes to this particular blog format, a resource for archivists and librarians, “IT” takes on different connotations. What occurs to me is this concept, the quest for high-tech answers to make all our jobs, nay, our lives, easier and cooler, perhaps that is it. Having been teased about how uncool librarians and archivists are (by those not in the profession, natch), it is nice to be able to talk knowledgeably about computer use and social networking applications. It almost proves we are cool.
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Category: What is IT?

The Ever-Changing Animal of the Internet

October 29th, 2009 · No Comments

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As an archivist and student of history, I am curious about the past and how things have evolved. When looking through some journals, I was reminded of when I first was learning about the Internet and e-mail in the early 1990s. Being new to the archival profession, I recall being in a session at a Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) meeting. Although I don’t remember the topic, I do remember sitting next to a more experienced archivist who seemed to want to share his techie knowledge with a neophyte such as myself. You could send a note to someone on your computer? You could look for information and post material on your computer? How did that work? It was very befuddling. So this friendly, helpful archivist proceeded to jot down a bunch of letters and punctuation, and supposedly, when you put this into some program in your computer, you would be able to send and retrieve information. I thanked my more experienced colleague for trying to explain this gibberish. I know shortly after when I started a regular, full-time job, I got a computer and e-mail and learned what it was all about.
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Category: History of Media and Access

Long-term Website Preservation Uncertainties

October 28th, 2009 · No Comments

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Since the advent of the Internet, floodgates have opened with people creating all forms of documents put on the web. And with open source and proprietary software, the proliferation of websites and blogs has been nearly overwhelming. But will all that material be around a year or five from now? What will exist in the future? How will it be archived? Internet content creators cannot be certain that their material will be around for years to come. A lot of people might be OK with that, but if they do want their sites around for posterity, they should be proactive in saving their works.
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Category: Archiving Challenges